Sunday, 24 April 2016

Family life: Dad’s party days, Sailing by Rod Stewart and Nan’s Magic Snowballs

Playlist: The Best of Rod – the only record allowed

Sailing by Rod Stewart
I am sailing, I am sailing / Home again, ’cross the sea / I am sailing, stormy waters / To be near you, to be free
Music was rare in our household, due to my father’s dislike of any noise other than that generated by his own power tools. Not once did I hear my dad sing along to a song, whistle a tune, tap his fingers in time to a beat, turn on the radio in the car or (heaven forbid) dance around the kitchen.
He doesn’t understand why other people like music either. He views the use of headphones not as a way of escaping the mundane, but as a way of advertising yourself to muggers. When he realised my sister and I listened to the Top 40 countdown in our own bedrooms, he insisted on us sharing a room to “save electricity” and then to turn the volume down, because it was “too bassy”.
Family holidays driving through Cornwall and France would be silent apart from the running commentary and regular exclamations of: “Hang on, let’s get me bearings,” “I’ve got a car right up my backside,” and “I knew there’d be nowhere to park.”
This all changed one day when he saw a French medieval band playing in castle grounds in Normandy. To everyone’s surprise he stopped to listen, and then – fuelled by the holiday spirit and too much sun – to our absolute horror he opened his wallet and bought their cassette. Instead of being tortured by silence, my sister and I were now being battered by indecipherable lyrics and music with no melody.
On returning home, this cassette was placed next to the stereo beside the only other one my dad owned, The Best of Rod Stewart. I recall this album being played only once, on one of the few occasions my parents hosted a party, and Sailing is the song I associate with that rare day. The other cassette was, mercifully, never played again.
I do have many good memories of my dad but, sadly, this is the only one I can relate to music. Or, at least, music with a recognisable tune and comprehensible words.

Robert Davies

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Coventry Evening Telegraph

Who Are Ya? Coventry City 

vs Walsall: Get the lowdown 

on the Saddlers

Saddlers fan Robert Davies, who runs blog The Glibert Alsop, gives us his assessment of his side's chances at the Ricoh Arena

Sam Mantom of Walsall celebrates with team mate Milan Lalkovic after scoring the first goal of the game during the FA Cup Third Round match between Brentford v Walsall at Griffin Park

The Saddlers have enjoyed a fantastic first-half to the season, what has been the major ingredient to their success so far?

Last season we defended well, had lots of possession but struggled to create chances and apart from Tom Bradshaw we didn't score many goals.
This season we have moved the ball round a lot quicker, created chances and been able to share the goals around the team. This has given us more confidence and momentum to grind out results when we haven't been able to keep to that high tempo.

Has there been any noticeable changes under new boss Sean O'Driscoll since he took charge?

The main changes have been the willingness to play two up front and change the system if it doesn't seem to be working.
Under our previous manager, Dean Smith, we rigidly stuck with one up front even when we were losing.
In terms of personnel and style of play there hasn't been any change at all, which is a good thing because we had been doing very well under Smith.

Walsall boss Sean O'Driscoll

The home defeat to Rochdale last time out in the league came as a surprise, what went wrong after such a superb run of form?

Rochdale were better from the start and outplayed us throughout.
We struggled to cope with them physically and they never allowed us to get in our stride at all. I hope it was 'just one of those games' as we really were very poor.

Can we expect to see Bradshaw starting up front tonight?

Definitely. He played against Brentford in the FA Cup on Saturday and seemed to come through the match without any problems, so I fully expect him to play on Tuesday night.
I doubt if he will last the whole game though so expect to see Jordan Cook come on to replace him after 80 minutes.

Walsall's Tom Bradshaw celebrates scoring

Who are the main threats in the team and who should we look out for?

Bradshaw is our main goalscoring threat.
Romaine Sawyers plays in 'the hole' and is our most creative player.
Rico Henry on the left and Jason Demetriou on the right (if fit, as he missed the last match) like to get forward from their full-back positions and add pace to our attack.
George Evans, on loan from Manchester City, likes to have a few shots every game.

Coventry City’s Sam Ricketts is challenged by Walsall's Romaine Sawyers

Where do you think the game will be won or lost?

In midfield. If Coventry can keep Romaine Sawyers quiet then they will stop our main creative threat.
There will be an almighty battle in the middle as I suspect we will play three central midfielders, Adam Chambers, Sam Mantom and George Evans.
Chambers will sit in front of the back four and break up the play and Mantom and Evans will try to link up with Sawyers and get forward. Whoever wins this battle will win the game.

Prediction for the game?

I am going to go for a 0-0 draw.
Apart from the Rochdale game, we have defended superbly the last few weeks but haven't really been able to get our attacking game in shape.
Coventry have some good players but I think we'll be able to keep them quiet and we will end up cancelling each other out.